See Me by Nicholas Sparks

December 7th, 2015 Kimberly Review 66 Comments

7th Dec
See Me by Nicholas Sparks
See Me
by Nicholas Sparks
Narrator: Christopher Ryan Grant
Length: 14 hours and 23 minutes
Genres: Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame
Narration: 4 cups

See me just as I see you . . .Colin Hancock is giving his second chance his best shot. With a history of violence and bad decisions behind him and the threat of prison dogging his every step, he's determined to walk a straight line. To Colin, that means applying himself single-mindedly toward his teaching degree and avoiding everything that proved destructive in his earlier life. Reminding himself daily of his hard-earned lessons, the last thing he is looking for is a serious relationship. Maria Sanchez, the hardworking daughter of Mexican immigrants, is the picture of conventional success. With a degree from Duke Law School and a job at a prestigious firm in Wilmington, she is a dark-haired beauty with a seemingly flawless professional track record. And yet Maria has a traumatic history of her own, one that compelled her to return to her hometown and left her questioning so much of what she once believed. A chance encounter on a rain-swept road will alter the course of both Colin and Maria's lives, challenging deeply held assumptions about each other and ultimately, themselves. As love unexpectedly takes hold between them, they dare to envision what a future together could possibly look like . . . until menacing reminders of events in Maria's past begin to surface. As a series of threatening incidents wreaks chaos in Maria's life, Maria and Colin will be tested in increasingly terrifying ways. Will demons from their past destroy the tenuous relationship they've begun to build, or will their love protect them, even in the darkest hour? Rich in emotion and fueled with suspense, SEE ME reminds us that love is sometimes forged in the crises that threaten to shatter us . . . and that those who see us for who we truly are may not always be the ones easiest to recognize.

Audiobook SUSPENSE ROMANCE thriller

See Me by Nicholas Sparks is a romantic suspense that is heavy on the suspense, but offers up a sweet romance with character growth for our somewhat gruff but likable hero. Narrated by Christopher Ryan Grant See Me began slowly and had a few bumps but ultimately was a listen that kept me engaged.

See Me is a departure from the tear-inducing novels that Sparks typically writes and I appreciated the mystery, thriller and suspense angles.  While I pieced together things, thanks to some carefully placed clues I nonetheless enjoyed both the characters and the twists.

A chance encounter has Colin Hancock and Maria Sánchez meeting and thanks to the help of another character, these two meet yet again and begin a friendship that quickly moves to romance. These two are opposites, and I loved the slow-paced romance.

Colin Hancock is not your typical bad boy. He has anger issues and has made some sad choices in the past. However, when we meet Colin he is well on his way to improving himself. He is impulsive and flawed and while I did not agree with everything Colin did, I held to the fact that his intentions are honorable. Thankfully, we see growth in this quiet, damaged hero. Colin is the type of character you will either like or struggle to find a connection to. Having a sensitive son who speaks few words, made it easy for me to identify with Colin, although I abhorred his violent nature.

Marie Sánchez recently suffered some trauma when a victim’s brother blamed her when the murderer was set free. She has recently moved back to her hometown and is lonely and deeply dissatisfied with her current employment situation. Maria was a bit of a contradiction at times. She is intelligent, educated and unwilling to settle, but sometimes she annoyed me with her behavior. Thankfully she was strong when it came to Colin and refused to shortchange herself.

Secondary characters included friends, family, and the law. They all added an interesting mix to the story. Friends and family grounded the characters and created normalcy against the suspenseful plot. A detective who hounds Colin provided tension.  I worried he would royally screw up his chances. Questions of mental stability made our villain scary and unpredictable. Subtle threads of prejudice and preconceived conceptions were weaved throughout and gave the reader food for thought in a natural showing not telling way.

The romance while present was secondary to the intense action. I loved the slow-build but felt it got a little lost in the middle. Their connection felt realistic and I appreciated that they found growth from within because of their interaction.

Plot twists, action scenes and near death experiences ramped up the tension as the story progressed. Sparks added red herrings and clues along the way. For me the clues revealed things to quickly and made the tale predictable.

Christopher Ryan’s narration of Colin felt spot on and he handled the female voices equally well. His pacing was well done and I didn’t feel the urge to speed up the audio.

See Me was an interesting romantic suspense that leaned more towards a mystery thriller but was one I that I found entertaining.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

66 Responses to “See Me by Nicholas Sparks”

  1. Teddyree

    I picked this one up without reading the synopsis, didn’t realise it was a departure from his usual. Not sure when I’ll get to it … if someone was raving about it, now that would change things lol

  2. Braine

    Gave up on Sparks after The Last Song. It’s drove me to tears, but I got tired of the formula. Someone always dying and all that.

    This just might renew my interest even if it’s not great. At least he tried to write outside his comfort zone so maybe his next attempt will be smoother.

  3. Ethan

    This might be the perfect introduction to Spark’s novels for me. I love suspense, but have always been turned off by anything overtly sentimental. Thanks for the great review!

  4. Kathy

    I’ve heard wonderful things about this book and didn’t realize it was suspense. I’ve put off reading it because this author has such a signature event in all of his books and just haven’t been in the mood for it, but I’m always up for a thriller or romantic suspense.

  5. Laura Thomas

    I like that it’s lighter on romance and focuses more on the mystery. Most of his books make me cry. Maybe this will have a happy ending or at least a satisfactory conclusion to the mystery. Glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Lorna

    You are right, that does sound like a big departure for him. Not sure what I would think about a violent character-or one that can be violent. Sorry that you figured out the mystery too soon-I dislike that as well!

  7. Rita

    My younger daughter and I love to watch Nicholas Sparks movies together, and have watched almost all of them over the past few years. The Notebook and Safe Haven remain our faves 🙂

    That being said, I’ve only read I think 3 of his books and they were good, not great, for me. I actually have this one on e-book, picked it up last week so I could share the story with my daughter who doesn’t read beyond school books. Thanks for a good review!

  8. Heidi

    What? Sparks wrote a romantic suspense? I am curious now. I kind of gave up on him because his books were so predictable.

  9. Candace

    I don’t usually love Sparks but since this is a different genre I may like this one much more a romantic suspense sounds more up my alley.

  10. lisa thomson

    This sounds really interesting, Kim. Colin is a different sort of hero for Sparks. I haven’t read one of his books for years. The last one was A Bend in The Road. However, I watch the Notebook every Valentine’s Day lol. Listening to the audio sample, I’m not sure I like the narrator’s voice. I will put the book on my TBR shelf (which is growing too high!).

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It has been years since I picked up one of his books, but like you I love the movies. This is very different and was unexpected but enjoyable nonetheless.

  11. Debbie Haupt

    Thanks for the great review Kim, Sparks is an author I tend to steer clear of because he’ll probably kill off one of these two in the sequel. Of course now that he divorced his wife of 30 years maybe he’s done with strictly romance.

  12. kindlemom1

    It’s funny because I use to adore Sparks, heart breaking endings and all and lately I just haven’t been able to get into any of his books. The last two, maybe even three I have read have left me feeling blah about his work. I’m not sure this one will pull me out of my Sparks slump either which is really just too bad.

    Glad this was a good read though.

  13. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I haven’t read a Sparks novel in years, but I like the idea of one that is more suspense than romance…and a slow build between the characters is usually better for me, too.

    Thanks for sharing!

  14. Tracy Terry

    Not an author I can say I’ve found particularly to my liking but I live in hope that I just haven’t found the right book by him … yet.

    Great review, perhaps See Me will prove to be THE one.

  15. Tyler H. Jolley

    Fun random fact, Nicholas Sparks is who inspired me to start writing. I saw him on Oprah when I was in dental school. Although free time was rare at that time, I started writing scenes that had been floating around in my head. His writing is really inspirational.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks for sharing that Tyler and I had no idea you were a dentist. *backs away slowly* I am terrified of the dentist and have to take meds before going..

      • Tyler H. Jolley

        Haha, I’m sorry to hear that you’re afraid of the dentist. I actually went on to do four more years of school and became an Orthodontist and Periodontist. So you don’t need to be afraid to come see me, but you might end up with braces 🙂

        • kimbacaffeinate

          Very cool..I was luck not to need braces, my kids and hubby..not so much. When I was 13 a dentist slid the drill bit across my gums leaving a scar. He then lied to my parents and said I moved. Thankfully my parents knew I didn’t tell fibs and we found a new dentist. He was on the phone with his mother and not paying attention. I have a wonderful dentist, who is patient with me.

  16. Lekeisha

    I’m currently on the holds list for the audio book at my library. Hopefully, I will be listening to it soon.

  17. Jenny

    I’ve never read anything by Nicholas Sparks, mostly because his books always seem to end tragically and I’m an HEA kind of girl! A romantic suspense might work better for me though, and there’s no mention of a brutal ending emotionally, so this could be the place to start Kim!

  18. Bookworm Brandee

    Not a tear-jerker?? *gasp* But I always preface a Sparks recommendation with a note that tissues will be required. 😉 See Me sounds good though. I like that there is more focus on the action and mystery as well as that the romance is slow-build. You have me curious despite the bumps in the story, Kimberly. 😀

  19. Katherine

    I definitely don’t associate Sparks with suspense so this has me intrigued. It sounds like one I’d enjoy on audio.

  20. Rebe

    Ok, I was surprised by the blurb. The hero has a violent background, went to prison, and yet is working towards a teaching degree? You have to pass an FBI background check to be a teacher! Clearly this book is not for me – I could never suspend disbelief enough to enjoy it, lol!

  21. Lexxie

    I have actually never read a Sparks novel, but I have seen several movies (that made me cry) based on his books. I think it’s great that See Me is different from his usual, and maybe I’ll pick this one up to see what I think of his writing 🙂
    Great review, Kim!
    Have a wonderful week and happy reading.

  22. melliane

    i’ts nice when the romance is behind like that and evolves little by little. It sounds like an interesting one mainly with 2 damaged heros.